Wisconsin’s Native American tribes see results from aggressive action against COVID-19 — 7/20/20

A roundup of top news and information about Wisconsin’s response to the coronavirus

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Today we highlight a story by Shirin Ali of the Medill News Service. She reports that Wisconsin’s Native American tribes are taking aggressive steps against the coronavirus, allowing residents to weather the pandemic better than tribes in other states. 

Native Americans account for about 1% of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 cases, which is  proportional to their share of the state’s population. That’s far different from the breakdown in New Mexico (55% of cases, 10% of the state population) or Wyoming (more than 33% of cases, 3% of the state population), Ali reports. 

“Wisconsin’s tribal communities acted quickly to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 among their members, with most instating stay-at-home orders similar to what Gov. Tony Evers had in place before the state Supreme Court struck it down in May. They also promoted social distancing and use of masks early on, closely following the CDC’s recommendations,” Ali reports. “Though Wisconsin does not currently have an enforceable, statewide emergency order in place, most of the state’s tribal communities do as positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise on and off reservations.”

Top Stories

Amber Arnold / Wisconsin State Journal

Native American drummers make their way to the state Capitol for the annual State of the Tribes address on April 9, 2019. Wisconsin’s tribes have fared better in combating COVID-19 than those in other states.

Wisconsin’s tribes have weathered COVID-19 better than tribes in other states. How did they do it?Medill News Service/Wisconsin State Journal 

‘What do we do now?’: With federal support running out, Wisconsin child care providers struggle to survive the pandemicAppleton Post-Crescent 

Many families in Wisconsin are ‘close to becoming homeless’ as effects of pandemic continue and help dries upMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Teachers’ unions call for state’s largest districts to begin year with virtual learningKenosha News

Coin shortage gives businesses yet another worry amid COVID-19 pandemicWisconsin State Journal 

Trump’s Failure: The rush to abandon leadership role on the virusThe New York Times 

GOP coronavirus bill likely to include payroll tax cut and tie school money to reopening plansThe Washington Post 

The NNS coronavirus update: What Milwaukee residents need to know the week of July 20Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

What are we missing? And how are you coping? Help us provide critical information and accountability by filling out this form or emailing us at tips@wisconsinwatchmediapartners.wpcomstaging.com.

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Government updates

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Gov. Tony Evers’ office

U.S. Centers and Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization


“I think we all agree that the face-to-face experience is something of real value, particularly at Marquette. And it is worth every effort to make that happen. … But in the end, it’s not worth dying for.”

Laurieann Klockow, a Marquette University virologist who is teaching a class on the COVID-19 pandemic, speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“This year’s report affirms that even before the massive economic downturn caused by the coronavirus, housing costs outpaced what many workers could afford. For decades, we have had a systemic shortage of affordable housing for people with the lowest incomes, which the COVID-19 crisis is dramatically exacerbating.”

Excerpt from the National Low Income Housing Coalition report “Out of Reach: The high cost of housing,” which found that Wisconsin renters on average must make $17.27 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment without spending more than 30% of their income on rent

Data to note

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Monday reported 703 new cases of COVID-19, with 10.1% of tests returning positive. The department reported two new deaths in a pandemic that has reportedly killed 846.

Here are the latest visualizations of COVID-19 cases and deaths from our partners at WisContext.

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: tips@wisconsinwatchmediapartners.wpcomstaging.com.

Ice cream sales and boat repair boom on Lake Wisconsin amid COVID-19 pandemicWisconsin State Journal 

YWCA among the groups raising funds for immigrant familiesBeloit Daily News 

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